BEIJING, May 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On April 21 local time in the Czech Republic, SK Slavia Prague soccer team, which is owned by CEFC China, compiled a long unbeaten streak to jump into first place in Gambrinus Liga. By that time, the team had gone unbeaten for 24 matches. After being acquired by CEFC China, the soccer team with 125 years of history has been rejuvenated and has completely stepped out of its past bankruptcy predicament.
In recent years, Chinese investment has entered the world soccer market. Via incomplete statistics, twenty overseas soccer clubs have been purchased by or are now controlled by Chinese companies or individuals.
SK Slavia Prague, founded on November 2, 1892, is one of the oldest soccer teams in Europe. SK Slavia Prague, together with Skoda car and the animation figure Little Mole, are brand names representing the Czech national spirit. Starting from 2009, however, the soccer team had been trapped in economic troubles, resulting in a bankruptcy application in September 2015, which left the players and hundreds of thousands of fans devastated.
At that moment, China Energy Company Limited (CEFC China) extended their hand. As revealed by Ye Jianming, Chairman of CEFC China, it only took him two days to make the decision to purchase SK Slavia Prague, amid a barrage of questions. CEFC China took 60 percent of SK Slavia Prague's shares in September 2015. In November 2016, CEFC China invested again to increase its stake to 99.964 percent. The rest of the 0.036 percent of shares is held by the fans of SK Slavia Prague. Recently CEFC China acquired Eden Arena, the best soccer ground in the Czech Republic, to give SK Slavia Prague a real home.
CEFC China did not take part in the management and operation of the club after the acquisition, nor did it send any managers to the club. CEFC China gives the club's board full trust and authorization so as to tap its own initiative.
The successful incorporation of CEFC China and SK Slavia Prague opens up a broader world for the club and paves the way for more cooperation and soccer games between China and the Czech Republic as well as China and Europe as a whole. SK Slavia Prague hosted summer camps that provided training for Chinese players. Chinese teenagers' soccer team will come to Czech for training for one to four years. This project has been listed in "The Belt Road Cooperation--China-Czech Republic culture, sports and personal exchange and cooperation program". In addition, CEFC China has signed a cooperation agreement with the Czech Republic Football Association to become an official partner of the association. Such efforts play an important role in bilateral sports cooperation and people-to-people exchange.
Last March, Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the Czech Republic, the first Slavia International Teenagers' Soccer Game was held. President Xi and the Czech President met with the young players in Prague Castle.
Ye Jianming, Chairman of CEFC China, thinks that spending tens of millions of euros on saving a sports club was not for profit-making. Instead, it was CEFC China's efforts to save a Czech traditional brand, and to show its respect to Czech soccer and culture. The mov President Xi e has gained attention from millions of Czech soccer fans and bridged the cultural gap for Chinese companies to enter the Czech market. It not only built credibility for CEFC China, it also gave additional credibility to other Chinese companies operating in the Czech Republic. This is just one of the ways that the Belt Road Initiative connects people. Now CEFC China has become popular in the Czech Republic and has won additional favor and respect for Chinese brands among the Czech people.
"We are not here to grab the market and its resources. Instead, we come to make friends and seek mutual benefits and joint development", said Ye Jianming. CEFC China has invested in a Czech TV station, hotel, animation joint production with CCTV and Chinese Medicine Center, and engaged in a number of CSR activities.
Since last year, CEFC China has purchased Kazakhstan National Oil Company International Company (KMGI), gained 40 years of equities in the biggest land oil gas field in Abu Dhabi, UEA, signed a strategic investment agreement with the Cowen Group, an American stock company with a hundred years' of history and became Cowen's number one shareholder.
Strategic control, financial control plus partnership is the important mechanism of CEFC China's organized economic community. "Accomplishing others before accomplishing oneself" is the investment idea for Chinese companies to further go abroad.
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SOURCE CEFC China Energy Company Limited (CEFC China)